Friday, 4 March 2011

Getting the green light

I almost had a new career today. After the demise of the dishwasher that I am supposed to be selling with the house, I went onto eBay, and bought a new circuit board, the genuine article for the brand and model that I refuse to replace without a fight. It cost less than half of what I could have paid if ordered through the engineer who diagnosed the cause of death earlier in the week. This engineer was a man of few words and less charm, but seemed to know what he was doing. Except that he didn't ring me back as he promised, so he doesn't get the job.....


Perhaps I could install the new circuit board myself, I wondered, if I was very careful to copy exactly where every plug-in bit went as I dismantled the dead one.

It was fiddly, partly because there were lots of tiny plastic lugs that I feared snapping if treated too enthusiastically, and there was a bit of tutting and walking away taking deep breaths, but I did it eventually, and reassembled the control panel with just a touch of conceit panache. I counted all the screws out, and I counted them all back in again. Maybe I could retrain as an appliance repairwoman.


And then I switched the machine on, flinching slightly as though setting off a rather dodgy-looking firework.

And it worked! It showed a green light!

For a while. It drains, it hums to itself, it now shows another light for the programme delay button where no light has shown before. I feel proud; I installed a circuit board without breaking any plasticky bits or electrocuting myself, the delay indicator light is now working, and I got the crucial green light.

But it won't fill. Nothing is kinked, or trapped, or blocked. The machine is heaved in and out of its slot under the worktop, taking care not to rip the vinyl flooring where there is already a little bit of duct tape from a similar manoeuvre years ago. My, duct tape lasts and lasts! No built-in obsolescence there!

I fiddle and check, mutter and wonder. And all the time the green light stays on, but now it's flashing, which indicates a fault. A Fault, that's it; not Which Fault, which would be more helpful.

Back to consult Google. I find lots of sites complaining bitterly about this model of dishwasher, although I suspect that every dishwasher - well, any domestic appliance, really - has similar vituperative sites for sweary and frustrated people to vent their spleen and warn other hapless folk never ever to buy what they themselves were lured into buying.

Lots of problems are described on those sites, along with lots of the worst spelling and grammar I have ever seen, and a scattering of proposed solutions, all assuming a degree of knowledge (you need to dismantle the motor and take off the spray arm, minding the membrane in the sump and daringly blow through the drain hose, then, perhaps with an air of rapture, verify the pump, and then there's the float assembly throat which of course you mustn't throttle, but you must note which lights are blinking from left to right if it were the 3rd and the 5th it would mean 001010 Main Motor Pressure Switch Blocked Filter and please make sure you send Auntie Ethel a postcard to thank her for that picture of the Town Hall she sent you for your birthday, and then perhaps you feel the need to stomp off into the next room with steam coming out of your ears.

But, breathing slowly and deeply, you go back again, and take out the filter - not lovely, a bit gunked-up, benefits from a little rinse, but is not gruesomely blocked with dead mice or mangled plastic forks; gamely, you try to remove the lower washer arm - easier to remove my own arm, I thought - and optimistically hold the start button in for a little while, hoping that it works for longer than 2 minutes this time. It doesn't.

Decide that this will all wait until tomorrow. Or until I can afford to have a repairman out again. It would appear that a career in appliance repairs isn't for me. I'm off to verify a cup of tea now.

24 comments:

liZZie said...

Just a thought ~ did the bloke turn the water off when he looked at it? Worth checking. Well done you BTW.

rachel said...

I checked the water..... and I didn't notice him removing the entire contents of the cupboard under the sink, so I guess he didn't!

SusanFrances said...

I am so impressed that you went through all that...shame it didn't work!
I really thought that it was going to have a good outcome, and you didn't have to " get a man in" !!!
X

rachel said...

Oh, I might yet get it to work! Ever-hopeful.....

judy in ky said...

Quite impressive on your part! Your patience must be endless. I hope you get it to work without going the repairman route.

John said...

So it drained and hummed and gave a solid green light, which flashed after the washer failed to fill. Try removing the power line from the electric socket to reset the electronics. While it's unplugged, look for the float in the bottom of the dishwasher chamber, it should be below the spinning arm, just grab it and make sure it can move up and down freely (when it's up, it signals the chamber has the water needed to wash, perhaps it's stuck in the up position). Then reconnect the power line and try again.

If that doesn't work, when is the lovely son's next visit?

Dartford Warbler said...

I am impressed! What a shame there is still a gremlin in the works. Hoping that you find a more amenable man to get the last bit done, unless you can finish it yourself of course..........Good luck!

the veg artist said...

Get Milly on the job!

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

Everyone will be cheering you on tomorrow . There's something so galling about paying someone to come and pronounce one's kitchen appliance dead . And very ecologically unsound to replace these white enamel behemoths whenever they hiccup .
Perhaps you should borrow some white overalls before you try again ? Might work .

rachel said...

Thanks John - I looked for the float assembly earlier, and couldn't find it, but will have another go at getting the washer arm out!

And I wouldn't let the Lovely Son anywhere near electrics - too cavalier in his approach!

Rattling On said...

Reminds me of when we lived in Moscow and youngest daughter broke the toilet flush, one of the press-in ones. I dismantled the whole toilet and checked on line... nothing at all. Fortunately (!!!) the second toilet was of the same type so I blithely dismantled that as well to see how it worked. Job done, eventually.
I don't have a dishwasher, but the boiler fills from a pipe with a twisty-valve that shuts off the supply when necessary, so you don't have to do it at the mains, any chance there's one of those?

Shelagh said...

Frankly, I can't even believe you thought to attempt all this. It would never occur to me. Which is likely just as well. However, you do seem to have managed to get at least part way there. Hope tomorrow finds that you're able to finish the job. Good going!! (Even if you DO eventually have to call someone to come in)

Lucille said...

Good for you. We should all have trained as plumbers and electricians - far more useful than some of the subjects I wasted so many hours on at school. Our 2nd new dimmer switch has broken. In the on position of course.

June said...

Oh lord. I stand in complete awe.
I'm the one who can't bring in a load of wood without breaking a part of my foot...those plasticky lugs would not have had a snowball's chance in hell.

Preseli Mags said...

I'm so impressed with your efforts so far. How annoying that it didn't work. Try a sharp intake of breath and a sly kick. It that fails swith it off and on again. No that's computers... I'm no help am I?

Isabelle said...

Well, I'm extremely impressed that you even tried - better woman than me, Gunga Rachel - and very frustrated for you that your gallant attempts haven't (yet) worked.

Personally I'd just call in a chap, but then I'm feeble.

Susan said...

I held my breath & turned blue reading this post.
Yikes !! Wow ! tres, tres impressed Madam

les Gang

frayedattheedge said...

Oh dear! If it's still kaput on Wednesday, we'll set Malcolm on it while we have tea and scones! Our last washing machine had an intermittent fault (of course it always worked ok when the repair man came out) ...... I resorted to kicking it - it eventually turned out it was a mechanical bit that was sticking, which was why a kick worked!! (My Dad used to hit the tv with a wooden spoon, but that's a story for another day!!)

elizabethm said...

I am in awe of your determination and gumption! I do feel you should get your due reward of the damn thing working!

mountainear said...

Well impressed, as my lads would have said. Mega.

The next bit will easy. Sleep on it.

Anonymous said...

Phew! I was very impressed by you before, but this clinches it.

Good luck with it all, and keep us posted.

Jan x

annie hoff said...

Well, now you've had a bit of practice, my tumble dryer has just packed up - it wouldn't be complicated, it just blows hot air and goes round and round - or did! I'm sure you could fix it.

Pam said...

So impressed that you even tried! I run a mile from challenges like that. Even the word dismantle worries me. I prefer my appliances mantled!!

jabblog said...

Well done! Another string to your bow - so what if it doesn't work? You'll soon find the answer - I have every confidence in you;-)

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